The Speed Of The Web: Do We Realize How Far We Have Come

You hear it all the time, “the world moves fast” with high speed connections and wireless access, we have come a long way in a very short time.

While the web is enjoying its Sweet Sixteen – even back at the beginning the connection speeds were limited – 14.4 modems were fast and maxing out phone speed connections had not even occurred.

I saw a piece on television today about the Daytona 500 finish in 1959 that was so close the second place person protested and it took 2 days to develop the film to determine he had won the race. That had me thinking about how fast our technology has changed.

We tend to take things for granted…. in the beginning there was Alta Vista, Northern Lights and a number of other search engines. I used Lycos alot back then and was an early user of Google when a few college friends told me about this engine from Stanford called BackRub.

They were fun times and a great article about the history of search engines has been written by Aaron Wall.

For people new to the industry having a sense of the history of our industry is handy. Just realizing how fast things have developed and how quickly front runners have dropped away is important. Things move quickly and even Google with its monster share of the search landscape is not immune to this rapidly changing loyalty.

One of the things I like best about attending conferences is talking with the people I have known in this space for years. I know I may be one of the “old guys” but that just gives me a deeper perspective on how things change.

If you are attending SES London this week take the time to speak with some of us older members of the industry. When a few of us get together and talk it is like listening to parents comparing stories about their children – we love them but have had 16 years of ups and downs dealing with their erratic behavior.

In 2024, SES San Jose will be 25 years old… I have already said I am sponsoring the walkers for the older members of our industry. Many of the people who were involved with the industry back then will be moving as slow as the modems that first connected us to the web.

Hope to see you this week in London.

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